When I think of coleslaw, I normally grimace… because I’ve had some bad coleslaw in my life. Everyone has been to that barbecue/picnic where there is a plastic container of something that is a white, mayonaisey soup with shredded cabbage and flecks of carrots. And for that reason, I think coleslaw sometimes gets a bad wrap. I mean, when done properly, mayonnaise-based coleslaw is a thing of beauty… but, again… we’ve all been to that barbecue.
There are a lot of people in my life who aren’t big fans of vegetables… and even THEY eat this salad. It’s great for summer parties, Wednesday-dinner side dish, you name it. Its quick, easy, and super different. So, get ready to have your mind blown, because here is the recipe for, what I like to call, “CRUNCHY COLESLAW with TANGY DRESSING .
-1 (3-ounce) package of chicken-flavor ramen noodles
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1/4 teaspoon of pepper
-3 tablespoons of butter
-1/2 cup sliced almonds
-2 tablespoon sunflower kernels
-1 large head cabbage, shredded, or 1 (16-ounce) package shredded cabbage
-1/2 cup sliced green onions
Once you have all your ingredients together, this recipe is then really broken up into three parts- sauteing the crunchy portion of the salad, prepping the green part, and the mixing the dressing. If you aren’t feeling ambidextrous you can make the dressing, then toast your crunchy ingredients, and then make the fresh greens portion of the salad- all separately. OR, if you love a challenge, you can do all three at the same time through a carefully orchestrated dance that maximizes time efficiency. Because sometimes you need a great dish quickly.
Make sure the crunchy ingredients are spread-out evenly over the pan as you saute, breaking up any larger clusters of ramen noodles with the butt of your spatula. While you are stirring this mix frequently, almost obsessively, you can make your dressing. But, always ALWAYS watch this mix. Because when it starts to burn, it happens quickly. So, while the crunchy stuff is sauteing, grab a mason jar and combine the dressing components (oil, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and the most secret-est of ingredients- the chicken flavoring packet from the ramen noodles- yeah… flavor packet. Deal with it.) Tighten lid on mason jar and shake ingredients together. Set aside.
You’ve been watching your crunchy stuff, right? I know you have, because you’re awesome. After six or seven minutes, you’ll begin to notice that the almonds are starting to subtly toast. Use this as your index on done-ness of your crunchy mix. The meat of the almond will start to gradually change color. Watch. Its like science and stuff! Once your noodles look golden brown, take them immediately off the heat and spread mixture on a thin layer on a paper-towel covered plate to soak excess oil. It also slows the toasting process… which is key, as it can burn quickly. Can’t state that enough. Now, if you’ve already made your dressing and the crunchy mixture still isn’t toasted then noodles and almonds are still the same color as when you put them in, continue to saute mixture, and cut your green onions.
Combine the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well mixed. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the ramen noodles, almonds, and sunflower kernels. Saute until golden brown. Remove to a large bowl. Add the shredded cabbage and green onions and toss to mix. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
FWIW, I think that salad stays crunchy for more than an hour. Not that I’ve gone back for multiple “seconds” at a party where you brought it or anything.